Below are resources for early childhood professionals and those serving the early childhood community.

Preschool Class Size—Within Reason—Doesn’t Matter, Study Finds  Researchers recently conducted a meta-analysis of studies on class sizes and child-teacher ratios in preschool programs to identify optimum class sizes for positive outcomes related to cognitive achievement and social-emotional development outcomes.

D.C. students train for child-care jobs  To meet the needs of its growing early-childhood education programs, officials in Washington, D.C., are investing in a career and technical education program, “First Step,” aimed at developing the child-care workforce. About 150 students are expected to enroll in the program over the next three years.

Preschool For All-Expansion RFP  The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Preschool For All-Expansion program for FY2018.  The RFP must be submitted by September 18 at 4pm in eGMS. This is the first time in several years that this funding is open to new entities, as well as current grantees. Please make sure that your approval groups are properly assigned through IWAS in order to access and transmit your application. In order to gain access to the system, applicants MUST submit an Intent to Apply  by September 8. Please check the ISBE RFP page for resources, like the RFP rubric, and updates. Questions can be emailed to ISBE.

State Fact Sheets on Early Learning Programs  The Center for American Progress released in-depth fact sheets to look at both the need for and current state of early learning programs in the 50 states and Washington, DC. The fact sheets include state-specific costs of children, percentages of child care providers participating in the state quality rating and improvement system, and descriptions of state-funded preschool program.

Access to Early Education Varies by Region Access to early childhood education is a key factor in students’ long-term academic persistence and success. Research shows that low-income students hear 30 million fewer words than their wealthier peers by age 3, and students with access to high quality early education and kindergarten programs are better equipped to succeed in elementary school.

Where is Early Learning in ESSA?  High-quality early learning paves the way for college and career readiness and success. Yet of the 17 submitted ESSA plans, only Illinois and two others will use some type of early learning indicator to measure how well schools serve their youngest students. What can other states learn from Illinois? (The 74)